Tag Archives: Growth

The Feast of the Ascension

Study:  Reflect on a moment of profound change in your life.  What lessons did you learn?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance to proclaim the Good News in your current situation.

Serve:  Do you know someone who is experiencing great change right now?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

About this time of year students experience transition.  The academic year is coming to a close, classes are wrapping up, papers are written and exams taken.  It is a time where one can clearly see change: teachers and classmates conclude their studies and look to new opportunities and experiences in the summer.

For some it might be work; others might attend summer school; still others might experience a move to a new location.  Change takes many forms, but through it all some key points emerge:

  • New People
  • New Locations
  • Opportunity to apply learning to life

The Feast of the Ascension is one such moment of profound change in the early Church.  Rejoicing with one another over the Resurrection, the apostles were flying high – the Lord is risen!  In this moment of enthusiasm and hope, the Lord (truly in the role of Teacher) shares with them a new lesson – it’s time to change and grow.

Now they are the ones who must teach; they are the ones chosen to proclaim the Good News; through their efforts the Holy Spirit will empower them to heal and drive out demons.  Simply put, the Ascension of Jesus clears the way for the disciples to apply the Lord’s teaching in their own lives as they continue Christ’s mission in the world.

We are part of that mission.  We received our faith from those who came before us, and today we have an opportunity to proclaim the Good News to those in our lives.  Here are some thoughts:

  • Family – who often see us in unguarded moments
  • Friends – sustained and strengthened by our efforts
  • Coworkers – witness our character and conviction
  • Classmates – supported and encouraged in learning
  • Neighbors – perceive our actions and effort
  • Strangers – 1st impressions that point to Christ
  • Enemies – encounter justice and mercy with forgiveness

The Good News takes many forms, and in our moments of transition we are given new opportunities to act.  May the Ascension of our Lord inspire us to look for change in our own lives and seek ways where we can live joyful lives as disciples of Jesus Christ!

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on May 12, 2015.


11th Sunday of the Year: Growth happens when we start small. Catholic Inspiration

Gardeners know that fruitful plants begin from tiny seeds that grow slowly and steadily through a process of change.  God brings about transformation in a similar way in our souls: we start small, work a process of growth and the Lord gives the grace we need.

Mass Readings – 11th Sunday of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


11th Sunday of the Year: Growth and change in the Kingdom of God

Study:  Recall a time of profound change and growth in your life.  What helped you become better?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to face difficult challenges and embrace them.

Serve:  Who in your life is confronting change right now?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 11th Sunday of the Year

First, let’s take a quick summary of the key themes in the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – The Lord plants a tree in Israel
  • Psalm – “Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.”
  • 2nd Reading – We aspire to please God, whether at home or far away
  • Gospel – Jesus offers the parable of the mustard seed

Now that June is in full swing the color green is flourishing across the upper Midwest.  Summer delights the eye with growth and life, and from my view along the shore of Lake Superior this is most evident in the beauty of trees.

I have walked Wisconsin forests my entire life, and I find a peace and serenity among the grandeur and power of trees.  They anchor the soil, provide habitat for wildlife, shade for the weary, and a renewable resource for humanity’s handiwork.

Yet for the majesty of trees, they all start small – from a pine cone or an acorn, a “helicopter” seed or a shoot – massive trees have humble, tender beginnings.

Just like our faith.

We know from our own experience that all good things take time and effort to develop; growth and change occur through new encounters.  The process reminds us of two key points:

  • We have daily opportunities to grow.  Every day provides new ways for us to develop the gifts and talents God has given.
  • We are works in progress.  While we might lament that we are not where we want to be, we can face the challenges before us with the grace of Christ

In the first point we recognize opportunity and growth; in the second point we face obstacles with hope that these challenges will teach us new insights.  Growth and change are part of life.  What’s more, this change almost always begins from a small and humble beginning.

Where in your life do you have opportunities to grow?  Where do you see challenges that will require new ways of thought and action?  Take time to seek the Lord – to start small like a little seed – and grow in these moments into a new creation, guided and empowered to become more fully alive.

Now matter where we are in the journey of faith, may we open our hearts to God’s grace as we grow in faith, hope, and love as disciples of Jesus Christ!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


3rd Sunday of the Year: The power of the resurrection. Catholic Inspiration

One of the hallmarks of the Early Church was the transformation that took place in the hearts of the disciples.  Standing before the Risen Lord, they were freed from the fear of sin and death as they opened their hearts to the power of repentance.  Their example inspires us to call upon God for the grace we need every day to walk in the light His love.

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Easter

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Boldness and Belief. Catholic Inspiration

As the disciples moved from doubt to bold belief, we see the process that often accompanies our transformation in faith.  We need time to understand, integrate and apply God’s grace to our lives; may this Easter season help us to proclaim the Good News with boldness!

Mass Readings – Saturday of the Octave of Easter

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: We are all works in progress. Catholic Inspiration

All living things grow slowly and steadily, following a process as they mature.  The same is true for our faith.  On this feast of Saints Titus and Timothy may we patiently and faithfully keep our eyes fixed on the Lord as we grow in faith, hope and love.

Mass Readings – Sts. Titus & Timothy

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: It all starts with a seed. Catholic Inspiration

The parable of the sower teaches us that the Lord works in a slow and steady way to change our lives.  While there are many temptations and distractions that can choke off our faith, we are reminded to foster the Gospel in our hearts and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 3rd Week of the Year (St. Francis de Sales)

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts